Events

The sound of energy

A broken dangling toenail from Saturday night — it was certainly not the result of a pub brawl. Rather, it was the after-effect of the Farhan Akhtar concert last weekend.

As a section of the enthusiastic audience happily hopped about, one such dancer caused this. The crowd lapped up Farhan’s on-stage theatrics and applauded his raspy-voiced performance. And then there were journalists who were far from amused — the actor had failed to turn up for a press conference that was scheduled hours before the show. A 2-p.m. meeting at the venue ended up being a futile three-hour wait. Meanwhile, certain Facebook updates showed the actor making an appearance at a school fete in the city.

Farhan, then, sauntered into the venue after that for a sound check, and finally took to stage, a little after 8 p.m. He started off by delivering a few lines from ‘Toh Zinda Ho Tum’, a poem written by his father, Javed Akhtar, that appears in the film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It’s one of the many poems that Imraan (Farhan’s character) recites in the movie.

The actor and his nine-member band, Farhan Live, performed a medley comprising ‘Sindbad The Sailor’ ( Rock On!!), ‘Dil Jaise Dhadke Dhadakne Do’ ( ZNMD), ‘Pehli Baar’ ( Dil Dhadakne Do). “The next song is from the phase when I wasn’t doing much other than stressing my parents out. It’s the ultimate dilemma song,” he announces, before singing ‘Main Aisa Kyun Hoon’ from Lakshya. “And the next song — ‘Tension Kyun Lete Ho Yaar’ — is pretty much a logical conclusion to the previous song. We have one life — live it and do what you can; everything will fall into place,” he added reassuringly.

A bunch of college kids enveloping the stage, hooted deliriously, high-fived and punched the air. Even though Farhan’s vocal skills may not be the benchmark of live singing, you have to give it to him for his energy; he bounced like a firecracker on the stage. Much like a fleeting thought, he was there one moment and disappeared the next. Peering over the sea of bobbing heads, you could see him on the floor doing a set of rapid and continuous push-ups for over two minutes. This is something that’s becoming his trademark move before he sings ‘Zinda’ ( Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) at live events.

The event, organised by Touch and Vajra, laid emphasis on the need for women’s empowerment. Farhan, who started the MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) campaign in 2013, also narrated lines from a poem of the same name.

Over the course of the two-hour-long performance, he sang, jumped, hopped and even played a jolly yellow tambourine. There was a generous smattering of beautiful poems written by his father, and the songs were largely what Farhan had either recorded, produced or directed. The list included ‘Socha Hai’, ‘Chulein Aasman’, ‘Pichle Saat Dinon Mein’, ‘Atrangi Yaari’, ‘Senorita’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and ‘Maston Ka Jhund’.

At one point, he abruptly said “good night” and pretended to wind up, much to everyone’s disappointment. He resurfaced again, much to the delight of the audience. And as the night finally wrapped up, he had a message for Chennaiites. “You’ve been through an ordeal {referring to the floods last year}. All of us from Mumbai send you love and positivity to get back on track. This is for you,” he announced, as he dramatically beat the microphone to his chest. ‘Rock On!!’, the last number for the evening, was perhaps the first that got his singing noticed in Bollywood. One must admit, he sure knows how to rock that scruffy man bun look.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 5:22:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/events/the-sound-of-energy/article8209508.ece

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